As the year 2021 comes to an end, I took a quick look at what have been written in my planner. Just like after March 2020, this year my planner is rather empty. Prior to the pandemic, each year my planner was filled with planned activities. It seems to me often times it was I who did the planning. However, since last year, I have cancelled many planned activities and appointments made much earlier. On top of my rather-empty planner, I see another piece of paper, God’s Planner.
I thank God for this vision that gets clearer as the invisible virus mercilessly rages across planet earth, waging war on human beings often boastful about the limitless intelligence possessed and the incredible stunts done. The empty planner is a great lesson learnt during this time of paralysis and helplessness. I ask myself how often I planned ‘my activities’ under the Plan of God. How often I seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit before planning , even for the most noble activities?
As I look forward to 1 January 2022, the Feast of Mary the Mother of God, I wonder how the planner of Mother Mary would look like? Or has she ever had a planner? As she expected to be married to Joseph after their engagement, she was unexpectedly visited by Angel Gabriel. Placing God’s planner on top of mine is to expect the unexpected, to be surprised and to be free to change according to God’s desire. I can always hope for the better which may not be according to my definition. Life becomes an exciting ride if I move according to the tempo of God the Planner.
Finally, I wish to share with you this prayer by Cardinal Mercier which I find very helpful to begin my day with. He promised the following:
I am going to reveal to you the secret of sanctity and happiness. Every day for five minutes quieten your imagination, close your eyes to everything visible and your ears to all external sounds and withdraw into the sanctuary of your baptized soul which is the temple of the Holy Spirit. There, speak to the Holy Spirit, saying to Him:
O Holy Spirit,
Soul of my soul
I adore You.
Enlighten, guide, strengthen and console me.
Tell me what I ought to do;
and command me to do it.
I promise to submit to everything that You ask of me
and to accept all that You permit to happen to me.
Just show me what is Your Will.
If you do this, your life will be happy and serene. Even in the midst of troubles you will experience great consolation, for grace will be given to strength and help you to cope with every difficulty.
Dear friends, may we all fill in our 2022 planner under the light and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Have a grace-filled New Year.